RICHMOND — With crossover come and gone, House Democrats have made it clear – they have no interest in addressing the fentanyl crisis, firearm violence, and a number of other priorities they claim to support.
Today was “Crossover,” the last day for the House and Senate to pass their own bills and send them to the other chamber. Bills other than the budget that have not passed are dead for the year.
“Five Virginians on average die every day in this Commonwealth from fentanyl overdoses, but House Democrats couldn’t be bothered to hold a hearing on a number of common sense bills that would increase penalties for those who spread this poison in our communities,” said House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah.
Republicans brought forward legislation that would have locked up those who distribute fentanyl or manufacture counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl, but the bills were never heard.
Violence in our communities didn’t get a hearing from House Democratic committees, either.
“House Democrats passed a raft of gun control bills that they claim will reduce violence in our neighborhoods, but they refused to even hear bills that would have actually put and kept those who commit felonies with firearms behind bars,” Gilbert added. “They’d rather take guns away from law-abiding people than lock up the criminals who use them.”
Human rights also took a back seat to House Democratic efforts to force Virginians to buy electric vehicles.
“They say they care about human rights, but they refused to hear legislation that would have ensured that electric vehicles sold in Virginia aren’t built on the backs of child slaves working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Gilbert said. “Nor would they hear a bill that would have required colleges to certify that they’re not pushing antisemitism.”
Bills that were not heard this session include:
Fentanyl Crisis Bills
- HB 450 from Del. Chris Obenshain would have raised the penalties for those who attempt to distribute fentanyl to anywhere from 5 to 40 years in prison.
- HB 674 also from Del. Obenshain, would have made selling or giving someone an illicit drug that contains fentanyl without their knowledge guilty of attempted murder.
- HB 685 from Del. Jay Leftwich would have made anyone who sells or distributes something with two milligrams or more of fentanyl is guilty of attempted murder.
- HB 1042 from Leader Gilbert would have made it a Class 6 felony for any person to use a pill press to make counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl.
- HB 1097 from Del. Terry Kilgore would have held those who kill with fentanyl responsible for the lives they take, making them guilty of felony homicide and a prison term of up to 40 years.
Gun Crime Bills
- HB 553 also from Del. Obenshain, increases from five to 10 years for a second or subsequent offense the mandatory minimum sentences for use or display of a firearm during the commission of certain felonies.
- HB 1179 from Del. Scott Wyatt, removes any person convicted of a felony offense involving a firearm from eligibility for enhanced earned sentence credits.
Child Safety Bills
- HB 1026 from Del. Tony Wilt, would have banned anyone convicted of offenses involving children, including kidnapping, trafficking, sex crimes, and prostitution and commercial sex crimes, from working or volunteering at schools.
Human Rights Bills
- HB 1155 from Del. A.C. Cordoza, would have required that electric vehicles or their batteries that are manufactured in or sourced from African cobalt mines involve no child or slave labor.
- HB 1255 from Del. Paul Milde, which would have required that each of Virginia’s public institutions of higher education certify that their diversity, equity and inclusion programs do not promote antisemitism.